When it comes to using photo spreads in publishing, it's essential to consider the differences between designing for digital platforms and print media. While both formats have their strengths, they require distinct approaches to ensure optimal presentation and readability.
In the realm of digital publishing, a photo spread typically involves displaying a large photo without any interruptions or folds. This approach works well in the digital space, where users can easily scroll and interact with the content. However, when it comes to print publications, the presence of a fold in the middle of the page introduces a unique challenge.
Traditionally, in print design, a spread is formatted to account for the fold, which can cause some of the content to disappear into the fold area. To address this, designers use a technique called "overlapping." This involves ensuring that the right portion of the left half of the photo appears on the left side of the right half, and vice versa. By doing so, they minimize the risk of critical content getting obscured by the fold.
Nonetheless, replicating this overlapping approach in digital publications wouldn't yield pleasing results. In the digital format, the overlapping technique can disrupt the visual flow and create a disjointed appearance. To tackle this issue, many digital publishers who also cater to print audiences choose to avoid such scenarios altogether. They opt for content that doesn't contain vital elements near the fold area, particularly steering clear of text placement in those regions.
When text spans across two pages with a fold in the middle, readability becomes a concern. The fold tends to obscure the middle section, making the text hard to read. While overlapping can partially mitigate this problem, accurately predicting the fold's exact curve is difficult. Moreover, over time, as the paper becomes more flexible, the fold's shape may change, further complicating the matter.
As a best practice, it is advisable to avoid placing text across pages if you want your print publications to look polished and professional. Instead, opt for a layout that accommodates the fold while maintaining the readability and visual appeal of your content. By considering the unique requirements of both digital and print media, you can create engaging and user-friendly publications that cater to your audience's preferences and optimize the impact of your visual storytelling.